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Bhowanipore resident visits five hospitals, four government and one private, finds no bed for patient

At the four government hospitals, doctors allegedly said there weren’t any beds and suggested she look for options elsewhere

Kinsuk Basu | Published 26.11.23, 05:27 AM
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A Bhowanipore resident visited five hospitals — four government and one private — on Friday night and early Saturday with her 62-year-old mother looking for a bed.

At the four government hospitals, doctors allegedly said there weren’t any beds and suggested she look for options elsewhere.


At the private hospital, she was allegedly told to make a cash deposit even before treatment started.

Around 7.30am on Saturday, Rupsha Chakraborty finally admitted her mother Sabari, who had suffered a cardiac arrest, at MR Bangur Hospital, completing the journey from where it all began.

Around 6.30pm on Saturday, Sabari was transferred to the super speciality unit of the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital after senior officials from the state health department intervened.

A resident of Ganga Prasad Mukherjee Road near Puddapukur in Bhowanipore, Rupsha said she first went to MR Bangur in Tollygunge around 11.15pm on Friday night after her mother complained of chest pain.

“After a few tests, the doctor on duty said my mother was developing complications.... I should take my mother to a specialised healthcare facility,” Rupsha told The Telegraph.

“The doctor advised hospitalisation saying one of the channels was completely blocked. We decided to shift my mother to the SSKM Hospital since it was a super speciality healthcare unit,” Rupsha said.

At SSKM, she asked the doctors at the emergency department if Sabari could be shifted directly to the cardiology unit.

“The doctors on duty arranged for a ticket within a few minutes and I took my mother to the cardiology department. The on-duty doctors conducted a few tests and said the blockage was bad but they did not have beds.”

This was past midnight and the family members then went to the NRS Medical College and Hospital.

At the state-run facility in Sealdah, doctors at the emergency ward asked the visiting family to check with the cardiology department if a bed was available. Two lady doctors on duty at the cardiology department said there weren’t any.

“Not sure what to do, we opted for a private healthcare facility in Howrah after some of our family members said they knew some staff there,” Rupsha said.

The family didn’t want to name the private hospital. But they alleged that the staff told them that irrespective of Swasthi Sathi coverage, they would have to deposit Rs 50,000 as the treatment cost for the first two days.

“The doctor on duty asked the staff at the reception to collect Rs 30,000 in the first instalment. When I asked the doctor about cashless treatment he said it was not possible because my mother was developing neurological complications following the heart attack,” said Rupsha. “ I did not have the amount and decided to leave.”

At around 2.45am, Sabari was brought to the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital.

The doctors at the emergency put her through a round of tests to confirm the degree of the heart blockage. When the family asked if she could be transferred to the hospital’s cardiology unit, the on-duty doctors asked the family members to meet a senior doctor.

“The doctor asked us to find out from the department about the vacancy of beds. At the cardiology department the staff nurse there weren’t any,” said one of the family members.

Around 5am, the family returned to MR Bangur Hospital where the patient was admitted to the critical care unit.

On Saturday evening, Rupsa said: “The doctors, including a neurologist who visited my mother at the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital, said they want to observe how she responds to medicine for the next 48 hours.”

Senior health department officials said they wanted to go through all the documents from different hospitals to find out what had exactly happened. “We have sought a copy of the patient’s medical ticket from the hospitals where she was taken to find out what had happened,” said an official.

Last updated on 26.11.23, 05:28 AM

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